Archive for Lissa Rankin

Adventures in Petaluma

Carmela and Christa laugh

(click photo to enlarge)

Giggling On in California

I have been, as they say, a very busy beaver beaver lately (please insert mental image of a giggling beaver).

I just returned home from a week in Petaluma, California after hanging out with my Laughter Yoga Teacher, Carmela Carlyle and gal pals Lissa Rankin and Joy Mazzola from Owning Pink. Most of the week was spent with Carmela, a former Wilmington babe (can I call her that, geez, maybe I should ask first) and we worked on a bunch of videos about Laughter Yoga.

Check out my off-the-cuff-shout-out-video shot in Petaluma last week. I share some of the cool groovy gifts I purchased for myself and as give-aways for Giggle On Team members for the E-Racing the Blues event this fall. You gotta check out dashboard Jesus!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdOonoJbZjo[/youtube]

Altar WorkshopAltar Workshop in Mill Valley

Last Saturday, the 15th of August, I attended a workshop in Mill Valley called Owning Your Power. It wasn’t about electricity or power tools. It was about claiming our own personal power through the creation of a home altar.

Although I am not the epitome of the pink girlie girl that Lissa, Carmela and Joy are (they are hard core pink lovers and admirers of many girlie things) I had fun making my altar. I shot a brief video for my friend Lissa and my altar was featured on her recent blog post. Look closely at the photos on her blog post and look for my favorite 4 legged friend, Rosie, on my masterpiece.

(click photo to enlarge)

Don’t call me Steven Spielberg or Frank Coppola

Little Miss Christa, moi, Miss Gigglepants, Lady  Giggleton (yadda yadda yadda) shot a series of videos for Carmela in a very short period of time. I am no Steven Spielberg or Frank Coppola but my little baby Flip camera recorded  Carmela in action as she led a variety of laughter yoga sessions in Sonoma and Marin Counties (I was on the floor during the session filming).

Check out the happy group of elders from the Chair and Wheelchair Laughter Yoga Club of Sonoma County giggling away. Per Carmela, this video is being featured on the Dr. Madan Kataria’s web site today. In less than 7 days one of the videos I shot is being seen around the world. How cool is that?

Kazoo Training 101

The long awaited kazoo lesson is here. While sitting in Carmela’s dining room (and with uncombed hair) I whipped out my trusted purple kazoo and took a video of myself humming away. It’s a hum with the kazoo folks, not a blow.

Check out the video for details and get your Kazoo On!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLXmSlcvIR8[/youtube]

I am headed back to my day job to make the donuts. Have yourself a giggly day and as my Laughter Yoga teacher says, “Joy is a choice“. Choose joy. Choose laughter. Giggle On!

Related posts and videos:

Laughter Yoga Club Delaware

Yoga Breathing with Whoopie Cushion

Tips to Have Fun

9 Tips to Boost your mood

Build Confidence, Act “As If”

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Is it Depression or lost Mojo?

Depression or lost mojo?

Last week my friend Lissa was inspired to write a post called The Difference Between Depression & Losing Your Mojo because a friend of hers recently lost her ex-husband to suicide. The suicide topic hits close to home for me and I’ve been following the post and comments closely.

It’s ok, she’s a doctor!

My pal Lissa is a medical doctor, mom, wife, groovy artist and the founder of a movement she calls Owning Pink. As a physician she’s got the credentials (unlike moi) to dish out medical advice about depression.

As a hater of the color pink, some of my long time Giggle On fans may be wondering why I’d be friends with someone who strongly identifies herself with the color pink. I mean, I really hate pink. Ewww, yukk and please don’t be touching me with your pink stuff. *laughing*

As much as the color pink makes me want to hurl chunks, I’m not going to close myself off to a wonderful person just because she embraces her pinkness. Lissa provides services and support to women all over the world. As a physician in a difficult medical environment, I admire her willingness and dedication to educate and empower others. YAY LISSA! Besides, she embodies the “Don’t Give Up. Giggle On!” spirit – I could never turn that away!

What’s mojo?

According to Lissa, you know you’ve got mo jo when you’re healthy, in touch with your spiritual nature, expressing yourself creatively and your life has purpose.When you have mojo you believe in yourself and that makes others believe in you too. [Sounds a lot like the Giggle On philosophy and I dig that.]

Losing your mojo is a lot different from major depressive disorder. Depression steals your mojo and who wants that? Long live mojo!

According to Lissa (and the DSM IV criteria for Major Depression) the Signs and Symptoms of Major Depression are:

  1. You’ve lost the ability to experience joy, even when you’re doing what you most love (we docs call it anhedonia & it’s one of the most reliable symptoms of serious depression).  If you can’t find pleasure in what used to reliably make your heart sing, chances are you’re depressed.
  2. You feel depressed most of the day, nearly every day.
  3. You’ve lost weight without dieting, or you’ve gained weight.
  4. You can’t sleep, or you sleep all the time.
  5. Others notice that you’re agitated or you’ve dramatically slowed down.
  6. You’re fatigued nearly every day.
  7. You experience feelings of worthlessness or guilt nearly every day.
  8. You have trouble concentrating or you’re indecisive nearly every day.
  9. You keep thinking about death, have recurring suicidal thoughts, or have a plan for suicide.

Get Help!

I have a lot of personal opinions about treating depression, improving your mood, taking medication, dealing with physicians and experiences with suicidal thoughtsIf you are experiencing any of these symptoms PLEASE get help.

Lissa also encourages her readers to ask for a helping hand. She says:

“Make sure you find someone loving and compassionate to help you sort out what’s going on, not just someone who’s going to drug you without getting at the root of the whole you.  Treating depression is a whole other topic, but make sure you get someone who looks at the whole picture of who you are. For tips on how to fight depression naturally, read Natural Medicines for Depression.”

Lissa, thanks for the great post, for the shout out and for moderating this important discussion about depression, lost mojo and suicide. Raising awareness not only saves lives but it improves the quality of lives.

Don’t Give Up my friends!

If you are looking for ways to get your mojo back or find your mojo, check out Lissa’s Finding Mojo articles or her Mojo Monday posts.

Find a way to treat your depression, locate your mojo and Giggle On!


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Laughter Yoga Leader lands in Delaware

Shameless Self-Promotion

In my post, Big Giggly Goals with Laughter Yoga, I let ya’ll know my plans to visit San Francisco over the weekend of May 16th-17th to train to be a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. Please prepare to use your applause muscles cause I done did it. Woo hoo.

I am now a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader.

My mojo loving gal pal Lissa Rankin from Owning Pink joined me for the weekend long Laughter Yoga Leader Training workshop with Carmela Carlyle.

Lion Laughter, Ha Ha Ha Lissa and I laughed our butts and boobies off.

I nearly peed my pants about a half dozen times. I even broke down and bought Lissa a pink Giggle On tank top. I already mentioned before how much I hate the color pink but Lissa loves it, I mean LOVES, LUVS, Loooooves pink and I wanted to show her I support her site, Owning Pink.

Our Laughter Yoga trainer, Carmela, cracked me up the entire time. She’s absolutely amazing and I recommend her workshop to everyone. It was totally worth the trip to San Francisco to meet her alone! I also met a bunch of fabulous laughter loving women in the workshop and I continue carry their positive energy with me. Thank you Kelley, Donnalei, Hanna, Jaci, Teresa, Donna, Celeste and again to Lissa and Carmela. Ha Ha Ha for the Ta Ta’s *laughing*

Click photo to enlarge.

For a brief video recap of my weekend and special thanks to friends, see the video below or redirect to YouTube. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5hHpskwDmE[/youtube]

Here I am getting my certification from Carmela!

I don’t think I was this excited when I graduated from college or received my RYT (registered yoga teacher) certificate. Laughter Yoga and Christa…perfect together. Justin Timberlake may have brought sexy back. I am gonna bring laughter back to Delaware. Who wants to join me for some laughter? Giggle On!

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Big Giggly Goals with Laughter Yoga

[poll id="3"]

Big Giggly Goals

For weeks and weeks and weeks I have been been dreaming of new ways to expand on the Giggle On! idea.

  • How do I most effectively spread the Don’t Give Up! Giggle On! mantra of resiliency, laughter and playfulness to all corners of the world?
  • How do I integrate the mission of a social enterprise with a revenue-generating business? [Since firing myself from my day job 2 weeks ago I realize a girl has got to eat.]
  • How does Giggle On become a transformational agent of large-scale social change? [I have BIG goals]

I recognize that depression and mental illness (plus a host of other physical ailments) cause hopelessness, pain, sadness, isolation, frustration, anxiety and even death for millions of people each year.

  • What will Giggle On do (what will I do) to help transmute these negative feelings into laughter & joy?


I GOT IT!   I GOT IT!   I GOT IT!

Enter Stage Left:  Carmela Carlyle and Laughter Yoga Leader Training

laughteryoga_0908

Over the weekend of May 16th and 17th, I will be in San Francisco with Lissa Rankin, my Owning Pink friend and together we will attend a Laughter Yoga Leader Training with Carmela Carlyle (pictured left).

Carmela is going to train me to be a Laughter Yoga Leader. Yeah baby!

Christa and Laughter Yoga – could this union BE anymore perfect?

I AM SO PSYCHED!

Laughter + Yoga = Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian medical doctor. He and his wife, Madhuri, a yoga teacher, integrated yoga breathing, stretches, clapping and laughter exercises to create Laughter Yoga. They started a small group in 1995 and there are now Laughter Yoga Clubs in 62 countries with thousands of people laughing for better health around the world everyday.

Have you experienced a laughter yoga class? Would you like to try laughter yoga? If so, I would love to hear from you.

workplace_1

I have been intrigued by the idea of Laughter Yoga since last August when I posted a YouTube video on the subject.

In my recent post, Yoga breathing with Whoopie Cushion, my intention was to open the dialogue about breathing, specifically deep breathing – or lung aerobics – in a fun way. You know me. I like fun. I love to laugh.

Reduce stress, B-R-E-A-T-H-E

I am a certified yoga teacher but I realize the average American or the majority of people who read my blog are not yogi’s or yogini’s. Incorporating the Whoopie Cushion got your attention and allowed me to briefly and comically address the importance of the breath for stress reduction.

fitness_1The most important part of any yoga practice is the breath. Yoga cultivates deep breathing. Deep breathing increases oxygen delivery to the body, specifically, to your cells, and aids in detoxification and stress relief.

During deep breathing exercises in our yoga practice, we exhale more fully. The inhalation breath that occurs after a deep exhale allows more oxygen into the body.

More oxygen is good for you! :-)

Laughter is a fast, easy and fun way to expel stale air from our lungs. Laughing strengthens our immune system, reduces stress, pain and depression, increases circulation, oxygenates lungs and tissues, relaxes and strengthens muscles, boosts endorphins and provides a connection for interpersonal communication to others in our community.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to San Francisco I go!

Got Laughter Yoga? Giggle On!

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